Shake It Off: When You Don’t Get What You Want
God created us to hope. He created us to dream and thrive and flourish. He hand-crafted us with the opportunity to speak to Him through prayer. But what happens when what we have hoped for, believed in and prayed for doesn’t work out the way we want it to? How are we able to just simply shake off these heart-wrenching outcomes and trust God with them?
God’s best for us will often look different than the ideas or plans that we believe are the best for us. Although our plans make sense to us at the current moment, we need to live with the reassurance that God can see the whole course of our life, including what lies ahead of us. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Life is difficult and there are many trials and storms that will happen throughout the course of our lives. We don’t just want to push aside or numb the hurts and pains we feel, but we also don’t want to linger in a downward spiral of our circumstances. To truly be able to shake it off and trust God when our hopes and prayers didn’t turn out the way we envisioned, there are three important truths we must live out.
- Our circumstances do not define our identity that is held in our unshakable God.
This. Is. Powerful. When we place who we are into the situations that happen to us, we will constantly be placing our identity into the ups and downs in life. I’m not saying this because I have completely figured this one out. I’m saying this because I too struggle with daily placing my worth in Jesus. The only thing that will remain constant through our brightest and gloomiest days is the character of God. God’s love will continue to pour onto us and He will continue to lace us with His grace.
- Celebrate the small victories.
Our mindset changes when we are able to notice the radiance of God in the midst of the drought. There is power in celebrating the goodness of God, even when our hopes and prayers did not turn out the way that we had planned. When we begin to rest in God’s presence, our eyes are opened and our souls are awakened to how God continues to move in and through us in our dry seasons. It might feel a bit weird at first to celebrate something that could seem so insignificant, but praising God with gratitude for the little things is where the root of joy comes from. Living life unaware of the daily blessings that we are surrounded with will only keep us stuck deep in a pit of ungratefulness. So today, celebrate a small victory in your life!
- Baby steps still move us forward.
In our fast-paced and busy society, it can be easy to think that we must always be taking huge leaps all the time. The real truth is this—no matter how small of a step we are taking, we are still placing one foot in front of the other. We are still heading in the direction of Jesus’ best for us. We are led to the glory of the cross each and every time. These baby steps matter. God is proud of us and He doesn’t compare our footprints to anyone else. Just because the size of someone else’s footprint is bigger than your own does not mean you need to sprint though life always trying to catch up, to earn their acceptance, or to prove your worth. God designed shoes for each person to fulfill and no one is like the other. Rest in the promise that you were made unique, unlike anyone else on this planet. God uses these times in our lives to slow us down, to be still instead of rushed, and to focus on Him and His promises in the midst of the chaos. The enemy will try to sneak his way in and tell you that your efforts are making no difference, but this is simply not true. Satan knows the power that even the tiniest step in God’s direction will make, and he will try to stop you with his lies. But Truth will always flood out the lies, because our victory has already been won. Let’s embrace the power in Proverbs 16:9 today, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” My challenge is for us all to lay down the want of having giant steps and to be content with the size of steps that we have in this season.
God’s got you and He knows what is best for you, sister!
Author: Sarah Weiskopf
Sarah Weiskopf is a teen girl living in the mountainous state of Colorado with her family & her two adorable dogs. She enjoys writing, painting, spending time with Jesus, and giving people hugs ? She is passionate about encouraging & loving others, and continuing to build her community, @anchoroflove, where she stays rooted in Scripture with others.